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N731MP accident description

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Crash location 40.735277°N, 98.571667°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Prosser, NE
40.687236°N, 98.576735°W
3.3 miles away

Tail number N731MP
Accident date 21 Jun 2004
Aircraft type Cessna A188B
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On June 21, 2004, at 1013 central daylight time, a Cessna A188B, N731MP, operated by Muckels Aerial Inc. and piloted by the commercial pilot, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain near Prosser, Nebraska. The aerial application training flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The local flight departed Aknux Airport (NE38), Prosser, Nebraska, about 1000.

The owner/operator of the accident aircraft reported that the pilot was completing a period of training prior to being hired at the operator's agricultural application service. During the accident flight, the pilot was to complete ten practice application passes to a field east of NE38. After the practice runs the pilot was to become familiar with the local area and return to the departure airport.

The operator stated that he witnessed the takeoff, however, instead of turning out to the east, the pilot turned to the west. The operator noted that he drove to the designated practice field, but the accident aircraft never arrived.

A witness to the accident reported that the aircraft was flying west, approximately 500 feet above ground level (agl), when it suddenly banked hard to the north and appeared to go straight down. He commented that "no noticeable debris detached from the aircraft" and that it appeared to be intact as it went down.

A second witness reported that he did not see the aircraft in flight, but looked up to see the impact. He stated he "saw the moment of impact and it appeared to have gone [straight] down into the ground."

A third witness reported that he saw the aircraft flying in a southeast-to-northwest direction. The aircraft banked hard and started to turn toward the north. He commented that the aircraft appeared to be intact. He noted that he did not see the impact.

The main wreckage was determined to be located at 40 degrees 44.12 minutes north latitude, 098 degrees 34.30 minutes west longitude, using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver. The accident site was located about 1-1/2 miles north-northwest of NE38. The entire debris area was within approximately 50 feet of the main wreckage.

A transmission tower was located approximately 1,000 feet south of the accident site. The tower height was listed at 625 feet agl on the Omaha sectional chart.

A post-accident inspection of the airplane was conducted. All flight control surfaces remained attached to the aircraft. Flight control continuity was established from the control surfaces to the cabin area.


The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records the certificate was issued on May 1, 2004. The pilot held a second-class airman medical certificate with no limitations issued on July 26, 2004.

A copy of the pilot's logbook was obtained and reviewed. Total logged flight time was 276.4 hours. The logbook included endorsements for training and proficiency in the operation of complex and high performance airplanes. These endorsements were dated April 23, 2004.

The most recent entry was dated June 15, 2004. This flight consisted of 1.6 hours dual instruction in a Piper PA-18 airplane. The remarks column noted, "spray practice" for this flight.

The accident pilot had completed a course of agricultural pilot training on May 3, 2004. According to documentation provided by the course operator, the agricultural training consisted of approximately 40 hours of flight time. Topics reportedly covered during the course included full gross weight takeoffs and landings, field entries and departures, and obstacle clearance.

The accident pilot received additional training in preparation for the FAA commercial pilot practical test concurrent with the agricultural application training.


The accident airplane was a 1977 Cessna A188B Ag Truck, serial number 18803003T, certified under FAA Type Certificate A9CE. This was a single-engine, single-place, restricted category, airplane approved for agricultural application operations.

The airplane was originally certified with a Continental IO-520-D, 300 horsepower engine. The accident airplane was subsequently modified to install a Lycoming IO-720-A1B (serial number L-1551-54A), 400 horsepower engine. The modification was authorized under FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA3609SW. The installation on the accident airplane was approved on July 17, 2002, and documented on FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration.

An annual inspection was completed on March 2, 2004, at an airframe total time of 2,764.9 hours. According to the logbook, the recording tachometer indicated 382.6 hours at the time of the annual inspection. The tachometer indicated 480.5 hours at the accident site.


Weather conditions recorded by the Hastings Municipal Airport (HIS) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located 9 miles southeast of NE38, at 0953, were: scattered clouds at 11,000 feet agl; winds from 320 degrees at 13 knots; and 10 miles visibility.


The FAA and Cessna Aircraft Company were parties to the investigation.

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